Maharaja Jaswant Singh

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Author:Laxman Burdak, IFS (Retd.)

Maharaja Jaswant Singh

Maharaja Jashwamt Singh (महाराजा जशवंत सिंह, भरतपुर) (born 1851- died 1893) was the ruler of [princely state Bharatpur (भरतपुर) 1853 - 1893 in Rajasthan, India. His successor was Maharaja Ram Singh. He got education privately. He had the knowledge of Hindi, English and Persian languages.

Early life

Maharaja Jaswant Singh GCSI (1.1.1877) was born at Deeg on 1st March 1851. He was the only son of Maharaja Balwant Singh. The first British officer that came to sympathize with Jaswant Singh on his being left an orphan, was Mr. Taylor, the Commissioner of Agra, an affectionate friend of the late Maharaja, who being disappointed in his desire to see him in his last sickness for which he had come, put the administration on a satisfactory footing by selecting Dhau Gyuii Ram as regent; the selection was confirmed by Major Morrison on his appointment as Political agent.

succeeded to the thrown

He succeeded on the death of his father on 21st March 1853. Ascended the gadi on 8th July 1853, reigning under Council of Regency until he came of age. For two years the affairs went on in their former way; in 1855 Sir Henry Lawrence, the Agent Governor General, on his visit, to Bharatpur, appointed courts of justice at Bharatpur and Dig and started revenue settlement under Captain J.P. Nixon as Superintendent and Lieutenant Hamilton surveyor. Bharatpur is the first among the Rajputana States that has been blessed with the benefits of a revenue Settlement and that On a scientific basis, Major Morrison supervised the whole administration and watched the progress of the young Maharaja with particular care and affection.

During the mutiny of 1857, Bharatpur faithfully rendered good service to the British Government, a large body of troops of all arms went on field under Captain Nixon, one of the regiments having preserved peace in the Mathura district throughout the troublous period; three hundred sawars served for a long time under the Lieutt. Governor at Agra, parties of mutineers which entered the state or passed on its border, were attacked and such of them as could he arrested were made over to the British authorities, and a strong body of Bharatpur troops under Bakhshi Ganga Ram fought with Captain Nixon against mutineers led by Tantia Topi at Deosa in Jaipur and put them to flight.

He married at Patiala on December 1859 with Maharani Bishan Kaur, the third daughter of Narendra Singh of Maharaja Patiala.

The young Maharaja of Bharatpur Jaswunt Singh, aged about eleven, in his durbar or court in 1862. The young prince sits in the centre of his guddee or royal seat, which is of velvet richly embroidered with gold. Behind him are four servants, two of whom hold merchauls of peacocks' feathers, and the chouree of yak's tail hair.In two rows on either side of the Rajah, the nobles and sirdars of the state are seated, who may be relatives, or officers in various parts of the state services.

He received a sanad of adoption on 11th March 1862 granting the privilege of adoption under the signature of Lord Canning the Viceroy and Governor General.

In 1863 the Regency Council agreed to cede lands required for Railway purposes free of cost, to compensate the owners of the lands, to make over to the British Government full jurisdiction short of sovereignty right in the lands and to abolish all traxisit duty on goods passing through by Railway.

In 1868 the Extradition treaty for the mutual surrender of offenders of certain specified charges was concluded between the British Government and the Bharatpur State; this treaty was modified in 1887 by a supplementary agreement providing that in the case of extradition of offenders from British India to Bharatpur the procedure for the time being in force in British India should in future be followed.

Assumed limited ruling powers on 10th June 1869 and was invested with full ruling powers on 28th March 1872.

Maharaja coming to mature age

The Maharaja coming to mature age on the 10th January 1869, Captain Walter who had been Political Agent for a long time, made over the administration to His Highness, subject to his observance of 26 rules framed for his guidance. These rules were to last to the 28th March 1872, but Captain Cadel who was Political Agent in 1870, being satisfied that the Maharaja worked excellently, reported in July that they were quite unnecessary, Under the sanction of Government of India, Col. J. C. Brooke, the Agent Governor General came to Bharatpur and invested the Maharaja on the 7th March 1871 with a khilat and full governing powers of the State.

In his report on the high proficiency attained by Maharaja Jaswant Singh, Captain Walter had shown the necessity of an " Eton in India" for the education of the young princes; the proposal was approved and the establishment of the Mayo College was decided upon. The Maharaja liberally contributed Rs, 50,000, which was exceeded only by the subscriptions of Jaipur, Jodhpur, Udaipur and Kota and equaled by that of Bikaner; the other States subscribed smaller sums according to the means of each.

His second marriage was at Deeg in 1870 with Darya Kaur, the sister of Chaudhuri Birbal Singh of Jaghina in Bharatpur.

Attended the Imperial Durbar at Delhi in January 1877. The Maharaja Phaltan Regiment of Infantry raised in his name in 1857. Bharatpur supported the British rule in 1857 war of independence.

He donated Rs 50000 for the establishment of Mayo College Ajmer. He also helped the Maharaja Shyaudan Singh of Alwar to get loan of Rs 3 lakhs from the Seths of Mathura.

He Received the Prince of Wales's gold medal (1876) and the KIH gold medal (1877). He did manage the affairs of state with success in the interest of public. The people of Bharatpur still remember his love and justice to the people. He removed levy on all items except intoxicating items. He got surveyed the land titled maphi by the patwaris in 1886.

Long before taking up the administration, the Maharnja had been trained in business and the experience he had gained under the friendly guidance of Captain Walter qualified him to conduct the affairs very creditably. For a few year; his court the Ijlas Khas was held at the palace in the fort and Bakhshi Sanwal Singh assisted him by disposing of the ordinary part of the work before his coming which he did with strict punctuality at 2 p. m. But subsequently he removed the office to his residence at Sewar and thenceforth managed tho State single handedly in a very efficient and excellent manner.

He was firm and very careful in his allegiance to the Imperial Government. In November 1869 when His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinborough came on a visit to India, he was one of the few Rajputana princes who joined the reception of His Royal Highness on his landing in Calcutta; and on His Royal Highness' proceeding to the up-country invited and entertained him with utmost hospitality at Bharatpur and Dig in 1870.

On the advent to Delhi of His late Gracious Majesty Emperor Edward VII (while Prince of Wales) in his tour of India in 1875-76, the Maharaja went to Delhi, partook in the camp of exercise and review of troops, in which he took a special interest, and going directly to Agra formally paid his homage to and was favoured with a return visit by His late Majesty. At his particular request His Majesty was graciously pleased to honour Bharatpur with his presence, once for duck-shooting in the forest locally called "Ghana" and again as the Maharaja's guest at the palace on his way to Jaipur.

On numerous occasions he visited the Viceroys at Calcutta and Simla and the Agents to the Governor General at Ajmer and Abu; splendid receptions were given to the Viceroys and all high Officers at Bharatpur and Dig; and every European Officer visiting Bharatpur was treated as welcome guest.

He attended the Imperial Assemblage held at Delhi 0n the 1st January 1877 and in recognition of his sense of duty and excellent administration was invested with the insignia of a Knight Grand Commander of Star of India.

Jaswant Singh was anxious to have the Political Agency withdrawn from his capital, as it has been on his father's being entrusted with administration. Being satisfied that he was actuated to desire the change not from any lack in his loyalty to the Imperial Government hut with the ambition of managing his State without the help of a Political Agent, the Government of India removed the Office to Agra where the Maharaja provided a splendid house for the residence and Office of the Political Agent.

The Bharatpur country, particularly its parganas Bharatpur, Kumher and Dig, annually produced about 15,00,000 maunds of salt, which besides affording subsistence to about 50,000 people, was a source of revenue of about Rs. 3,00,000 to the State and of about Rs. 50,00,000 to the Imperial Government. In 1879 when the Sambhar Lake had been taken by the Government from Jaipur and Jodhpur and the Customs Line extending along the border of British India had been abolished, the manufacture of salt in the Bharatpur State was suppressed under Agreement, dated 23rd January. The duties on salt, sugar and other saccharine produces, except local cesses such as octroi and chungi levied on those articles imported for consumption in towns of above 5000 population, were abolished., The Maharajah required no compensation for his loss, but the Imperial Government spontaneously allowed Rs. 1,50,000 cash and 1000 maunds of Sambhar salt per Annam to the State.

The Maharajah of Bharatpur circa 1882.

Agreements facilitating the arrest and surrender of criminals were entered into between the Bharatpur Darbar on one hand and those of Alwar, Karauli, Dholpur and Jaipur on the other in 1882-83 under the sanction of Government of India.

In 1884 the Bharatpur Darbar abolished all transit duties with the exception of those on liquor, opium and other intoxicating drugs throughout the State.

Five outlying villages of Alwar situated within Bharatpur border and five such villages of Bharatpur within Alwar border, in many of which dispute was frequent about irrigation from water of the Ruparel, were exchanged by the two States on the 1st August 1885 and the exchange was sanctioned by the Government of India on the 22nd January 1886.

During the viceroyalty of Lord Dufferin (1884 -1888) when the aggressive attitude of Russia towards the Amir of Afganistan necessitated the deputation of a Boundary Commission, war seemed imminent and the native princes came forward with liberal offers of assistance, Maharaja Jaswant Singh was the foremost to place at the service of the Government, a regiment of 800 Infantry and another of 600 cavalry out of his already well disciplined troops. These Imperial Service Contingents, as they are called, have since then undergone many changes, the Bharatpur Cavalry Regiment, for instance, has been changed into a transport corps of 300 carts, 600 mules and 502 men; but the troops originally organised by the other Rajputana States were as follow and only the Alwar Infantry exceeded a little that of Bharatpur and others were comparaatively less :-

  • Alwar, 600 Cavalry and 1060 Infantry.
  • Jodhpur, 600 Cavalry.
  • Bikaner, 500 Camel Corps.
  • Jaipur, 1,000 ponies, with men ⅔ of the animals and 400 carts.

In 1887 the Maharaja sent to England, a deputation of his four select Sardars. Colonel Pandit Karta Kishan and others, to pay his homage to Her Most Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria Empress of India, on the occasion of Her first Jubilee.

In order to secure uniformity in revenue records and collect statistics useful in various ways, the Maharaja in 1886 ordered the appointment of Patwaries in Muafi or rent-free villages. All Muafidars obeyed the order but the Thakurs of Pathena, following the example of their neighbours, the Jaipur and Alwar Thakurs whose defiance of the lawful authority often passes with impunity, assumed a refractory conduct and obstinately refused to pay Dami or Patwaris wages. The object was explained, and they were politely assured that nothing injurious to their interest was intended, yet they did not at all obey the order. When all means failed to bring them to sense of duty, the Maharaja who never tolerated insubordination, obtaining previous sanction of the Supreme Government sent troops to carry out his order. The Thakurs resisted, Pathena was stormed, about a hundred of their men were slain, others fled, the fort was dismantled and the village was confiscated. Many of the fugitives were subsequently arrested and sentenced to various terms of imprisonment.

Bharatpur's salute is of 17 guns, equal to that of Jaipur, Jodhpur, Tonk, Bikaner, Bundi, Kota and Karauli. In the case of the last, it was raised from 15 for Maharaja Madan Pal for his services during the mutiny of 1857 but as the rule of personal salutes had not till then come in force it continued for his successors also. Udaipur alone in Rajputana has a salute of 19 guns, most of the other States have 15 guns and some even less. For his able administration and loyalty to the Imperial Government Maharaja Jaswant Singh had his personal salute increased to 19 guns in 1890.

Maharaja Jaswant Singh was a strong, sagacious and energetic ruler. With the benefit of good education in English and Vernacular received under the fostering care of Major Morrison and Colonel Walter, he thoroughly understood the details of administration and dealt with every question competently and with perfect facility. Sober in his thought and patient in working he was never out of humour, and as his actions were always guided by deliberate consideration, seldom did his projects fail in success.

Economy of time and rare punctuality in daily routine enabled him to discharge his onerous duties creditably. Invariably he got up at 3 a.m., was sure to he on the parade at day-break and never failed in attending his office at 2 p.m. The discipline of the army was his favourite pursuit and be improved it to a highest degree. The manly exercise he took by personally commanding the troops, was much conducive to his health and being naturally of a stout constitution he rarely suffered from any disease.

In transacting business he strictly adhered to the principle of never leaving a work for to-morrow. Whatever might be the amount, he was sure to finish it on the same day, as no time was allowed to intervene between passing and issuing orders, correspondence was drawn up and dispatched before the next morning. The judicial cases were heard in presence of all parties concerned and no decision was passed before carefully hearing what each individual had to say. He distributed an evenhanded justice and his decisions were, as a rule, just and equitable.

Perfectly simple in his manners he required similar simplicity from all around him, and for nothing he had more decided aversion than to an arrogant pretension or to a feigned personal delicacy. Everyone had a free access to him but he was not credulous to an interested story, a remotest allusion to which was instantly detected by his keen intellect.

His knowledge of the state and its people was unusually extensive and knowing as many of his subjects as a chief in his position cannot be expected to know, he readily formed an appropriate opinion concerning their personal characters.

Considerate in conversation he addressed everyone in polite terms; harsh words and abusive language were foreign to his nature; he was never in an angry or agitated state of mind, even in delivering a most severe sentence he took care not to provoke anyone's feelings.

Firm in his principles he in invariably observed the religious rites and family customs and each of his visits to Calcutta was accompanied by it pilgrimage to Jagannath. He took opportunities to visit Nathdwara, Hardwar and Pushkar, and built a temple of Brajendr Bihari at Sewar and regularly attended the service in it.

After a successful rule of 22 years and in the 42 year of his age Maharaja Jaswant Singh breathed his last on the 12th December 1893 and was succeeded by his son Ram Singh born on the 9th September 1872. He died at the Deeg Palace having had issue, four sons and three daughters. His successor was Maharaja Ram Singh.

महाराज यशवंतसिंह

ठाकुर देशराज लिखते हैं कि जिस समय बलवन्तसिंह का स्वर्गवास हुआ, उस समय उनके प्यारे पुत्रा यशवन्तसिंह की आयु केवल तीन वर्ष की थी। इसलिए राज्य का कार्य-भार भाऊ ग्यासीरामजी करने लगे। चार महीने बाद ही महाराज की मां का भी स्वर्गवास हो गया। मेजर मोरीसन महाराज के अभिभावक (A.D.C.) नियुक्त हुए। सिपाही-विद्रोह में भरतपुर ने भी अंग्रेजों को सहायता दी। सिपाही-विद्रोह के पश्चात् मोरीसन चले गए और कप्तान निक्सर भरतपुर के पोलीटिकल एजेण्ट नियुक्त होकर आए। महाराज यशवन्तसिंह को अंग्रेजी, हिन्दी, फारसी की शिक्षा दी गई। उसमें आपने पूर्ण निपुणता प्राप्त की। सन् 1858 ई. में आपका विवाह पटियाले के महाराज नरेन्द्रसिंह की सुपुत्री के साथ हुआ। सन् 1868 ई. में रानीजी से कुंवर भगवन्तसिंह का जन्म हुआ। किन्तु 5 दिसम्बर सन् 1869 को भगवन्तसिंह का स्वर्गवास हो गया। पुत्र शोक में महारानी जी भी 7 फरवरी सन् 1870 ई. को इस संसार से चल बसीं।

11 मार्च सन् 1862 ई. को ब्रिटिश सरकार की ओर से महाराज को भी भारत के अन्य महाराजाओं की भांति गोद लेने का अधिकार मिल गया था।

जाट इतिहास:ठाकुर देशराज,पृष्ठान्त-670

सन् 1871 ई. में महाराज को राज्य के पूर्ण अधिकार प्राप्त हुए। महाराज ने मेयो कालेज की स्थापना के लिए पचास हजार रुपये दान दिए थे। आपने अलवर के महाराज श्यौदानसिंह को मथुरा के सेठों से तीन लाख रुपया कर्जा भी दिलाया था।

सन् 1871 ई. में महाराज अजमेर गए थे। वहां से लौटकर मि. जैकब के साथ जयपुर ठहरे और आमेर के महलों को नंगी तलवारों के साथ देखा। इस तरह बीस दिन तक जयपुर में रहे। राज्य का प्रबन्ध महाराज यशवन्तसिंह ने बड़ी योग्यता के साथ किया। आज तक प्रजा उनके न्याय और प्रेम का बखान किया करती है।

9 सितम्बर सन् 1872 ई. में युवराज रामसिंह का जन्म हुआ। बड़ी धूम-धाम के साथ उत्सव मनाया गया। सन् 1875-76 ई. में प्रिन्स आफ वेल्स सप्तम एडवर्ड भारत में पधारे। उस समय महाराज ने उनको भरतपुर में बुलाकर खूब आव-भगत की। देहली में जो प्रथम दरबार हुआ था, उसमें आपको सरकार की ओर से जी. सी. एस. की उपाधि दी थी। उन्होंने अपने यहां से पोलीटिकल एजेण्ट को हटा दिया था, क्योंकि वह अपने काम में किसी का हस्तक्षेप नहीं चाहते थे। उस समय पोलीटिकल एजेण्ट ‘हरि पर्वत’ आगरे में रहने लग गया था।

संवत् 1934 में राज्य में भारी अकाल पड़ा। तब आपने प्रजा की पूरी सहायता की। लगान तो माफ कर दिया साथ ही कर्जा भी दिया और बोहरों से भी अपनी जिम्मेदारी पर दिलाया। डीग और भरतपुर में सदावर्त खोल दिए। लोंगों को काम देने के लिए घने का बाड़ा बनवाया और किले की मरम्मत कराई।

भरतपुर का नमक बड़ा प्रसिद्ध है। भरतपुर में नमक का कटरा नाम की एक मंडी अब तक है। प्रतिवर्ष 1,50,000 मन नमक तैयार होता था, जिसकी वार्षिक आय 3,00,000 रुपये भरतपुर राज्य को और 45,00,0000 रुपये की आय भरतपुर सरकार को होती थी। राज्य में नमक बनाने की 51 फैक्ट्रियां थी। भरतपुर के 50,000 प्रजाजनों का नमक के व्यापार से निर्वाह होता था। सन 1879 ई. में भारत-सरकार के परामर्श से नमक बनाना बन्द कर दिया गया। कहा जाता है यह बन्दी 50 वर्ष के लिए हुई थी। गवर्नमेण्ट ने क्षति-निवारणार्थ 1,50,000 रुपये नकद महाराज को दिया और एक हजार मन सांभर नमक प्रतिवर्ष देने का वचन दिया।

सन् 1884 ई. में महाराज ने सिवाय मादक वस्तुओं के अन्य सब चीजों पर से चुंगी उठा ली। काबुल के अमीर और अंग्रेजों में जब लड़ाई हुई तो महाराज ने अंग्रेजों को मदद दी।

सन् 1886 ई. मे महाराज ने ‘माफी’ की जमीनों की पटवारियों द्वारा

जाट इतिहास:ठाकुर देशराज,पृष्ठान्त-671

पैमायश कराई। किन्तु पथैने के ठाकुरों (जाट सरदारों) ने महाराज की इस आज्ञा को नहीं माना और लड़ाई के लिए तैयार हो गए। महाराज ने एक सेना भेजकर उनका दमन किया। पथैने के गढ़ को गिरा दिया। राजपाल जो कि मन्हींसिंह का कारिन्दा था, इस युद्ध में बड़ी बहादुरी से लड़ा। पथेने वालों के 25 आदमी मारे गए और 15 घायल हुए। पथैने के ठाकुरों को परास्त करने के बाद महाराज ने उनके साथ भलमनसाहत का व्यवहार किया।

सन् 1886 ई. की 30वीं नवम्बर को महाराज कुमार नारायणसिंह और सन् 1887 ई. की 7वीं जनवरी को महाराजकुमार रघुनाथसिंह का जन्म हुआ।

सन् 1890 ई. में भारत सरकार ने महाराज की तोपों की सलामी 17 की बजाए 19 कर दी। 1892 ई. में एक दुःखद घटना यह हुई कि राजकुमार नारायणसिंह का स्वर्गवास हो गया।

महाराज यशवन्तसिंह ने अपने जीवन में ऐसे कृत्य किए, जिनसे उनका यशवन्तसिंह होना सार्थक हो गया। प्रजा के साथ हिल-मिलकर बैठना, भाई-चारा निभाना, दुःख-सुख में शामिल होना यह उनकी विशेषताएं थीं। वे बड़े हंस-मुख, हृष्ट-पुष्ट व्यक्ति थे। उनके चेहरे से तेज टपकता था। वह धार्मिक जीवन बिताते थे। प्रातः काल चार बजे बिस्तरे से उठकर नित्य-नियम करते थे। इन्साफ का कार्य भी आप खूब सुनते थे। यही कारण है कि जब सन् 1893 ई. की 22 दिसम्बर को आपका स्वर्गवास हुआ तो प्रजा में हाहाकार मच गया। कोई ऐसा जन न था जिसने महाराज के लिए आंसू न बहाए हों। वे स्वतन्त्रता प्रिय और दबंग नरेशों में से थे।


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